On The Move

Northwest Career Ready hires first full-time leader

By NICK DUTRO, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

TIFFIN – The Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, in partnership with Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers and Terra State Community College, announced the hiring of Chandler Grooms as a new Workforce Development Manager to lead Northwest Career Ready, a regional Business Advisory Council for several local school districts in Seneca and surrounding counties. Grooms is set to begin his job at TSEP on Sept. 13.

“I am excited about applying my experience and skills to Northwest Career Ready and helping thousands of students experience work-based learning and identify rewarding career pathways in their home communities,” Grooms said. “The collaboration here is incredible and growing, and I look forward to strengthening existing partnerships and supporting our local school districts and businesses.”

A former operations manager and interim executive director with the Ohio-West Virginia Youth Leadership Association, Grooms has also worked with Lighthouse Youth Services, in the hospitality industry, and for his local YMCA. He is also a four-year AmeriCorps volunteer with a passion for helping high school students reach their potential and a graduate of Shawnee State University with a degree in political science.

Greg Edinger, Superintendent of Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers, celebrated the move.

“Helping students prepare for and successfully pursue career pathways is core to our mission, and we continue to be committed to Northwest Career Ready and creating work-based learning opportunities for all,” Edinger said. “We welcome Chandler to the team.”

Terra State President Ron Schumacher agreed.

“In the last two years, we have been able to develop a collaborative strategic plan for work-based learning, streamline and consolidate business advisory councils, and create a marketing plan to spread the word. We are excited to have a full-time person focus on strengthening partnerships and executing our plans,” he said.

“Over the last couple of years, Tiffin City School’s Director of Academic Affairs Amy Wood did an amazing job helping us establish a foundation for success,” said TSEP President & CEO David Zak. “We’re confident Chandler can help build on that success to write the next chapter positively impact education, workforce, and economic development.”

In 2019, Tiffin City Schools, Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Centers and Terra State Community College partnered with the Jobs for the Future and their Pathways to Prosperity national network to develop deeper relationships with regional business, industry and educational institutions. That national PTP network includes programs in Arizona, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. One of the newest programs is Northwest Career Ready, established in 2019 Seneca County and now encompassing 15 K-12 educational districts in Seneca, Wyandot, Crawford and Richland counties.

NCR and its more than 70 volunteers believe that for young people to see themselves living and working in the region, and for employers to see high school students and their future talent pipeline, it is critical that cross-sector stakeholders work together to map out seamless transitions from school to career success. So, the goal is to create, coordinate and deliver work-based learning opportunities to every student at scale.